Author Topic: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese  (Read 5540 times)

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Offline Gary Amirault

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23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« on: November 07, 2007, 05:14:43 PM »
I (Gary Amirault) received this email this morning. I get a fair number of them like this regarding various videos and books by folks who claim they went to hell. This topic has probably been brought up before. I don't know if any of the info was condensed and saved somewhere, I think we need to do that. Anyway, have at it. I started an article on this subject some time ago and never finished it. Maybe you folks will provide enough material on this thread for me to finish the article and post it.:

Hello to Gary Amirault, and/or whomever this may concern,


What is your take on this book "23 Minutes in Hell" by Bill Wiese?

It's about a 2 hour read.

The author (Bill Wiese) really makes it a point

(took 7 years) to search the Scriptures meticulously before writing this book

to verify his experience in great detail. It's not like the kind of "way out"

sensationalistic experience of Mary Kay Baxter. Anyway, he does a

very Scripturally respectful job.

 

I borrowed the book and do NOT recall if he verified that

the punishment/torment of hell was ETERNAL, and that's the

first thing of concern now, knowing what I know. When I read the

book, I had yet to encounter the "Christian Universalism" paradigm

so I just assumed that the finality/eternality of hell was a given.

 

The thing is, the book is really doing well and this book/author appears  to

be endorsed by the Calvary Chapel network (i.e. Chuck Smith

and Raul Ries). So the book is receiving a great "buzz" here

(in Southern California at least because Bill Wiese lives/works here)

in what is considered a "verse by verse, chapter by chapter,

book by book" system Calvary Chapel is known for. He was also

a guest on TBN, so this book is getting huge "airplay" so to speak.

His description of his encounter with Jesus Christ Himself, especially

seems to validate his experience.

 

My wife and daughter (in separate situations) have personally met

Bill Wiese and he is a humble and unassuming man. I have

shared my progression toward "Christian Universalism" with

my wife and daughter, and they vehemently disagree with me. They use

this man's experience as an argument of the reality of hell.

I clearly respond that I do not deny or refute hell's existence -

I am only questioning the finality/eternality of hell.

 

Anyway, it could be really beneficial if you could put a small page/article or

take on this. I read your (Mr. Eric Stenson) response to Mary Kay Baxter's

testimony, but this testimony gives what seems to be a credible

Biblical verification of his experience. For Scriptural reasons alone, I still

have 30% doubt/disagreement with the "reconciliation of all", and as far as

testimony or "experience" goes, Bill Wiese's book is admittedly a strong case

against my embracing "Christian Universalism" (IF hell's eternality is stated).

So your feedback on this would be greatly appreciated (and I have a feeling

to others would greatly benefit as well)!   

 

I AM VERY RESPECTFUL AND GRATEFUL FOR YOUR TIME – THANK YOU AGAIN!

« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 10:56:58 AM by SeekerSA »

Offline firstborn888

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Re: 23 Minues in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2007, 10:47:04 AM »
Hi there,
   I personally see more pagan and dark age mythology than scripture in His story. First of all sheol/hades has no relation to fire or torment throughout scripture except in one parable of Jesus (and incidently there were no demons beating people up there). If he's speaking of the lake of fire - Satan/demons will not be having fun there either, so even from the view point of many who believe in eternal torment, Bill's story completely lacks credibility.

BTW, I haven't read the book - just watched his youtube stuff. Great material for a hollywood horror movie, little else of value...
 - byron

Offline james.goetz

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 02:33:11 AM »
Hi Gary,

I believe that the Bible teaches about a purgatorial hell. And Bill Wiese's vision is consistent with a purgatorial hell. For example, if his vision is genuine, then he is an example of somebody that went to hell and was liberated from hell. Unfortunately, his post vision studies of the Bible missed the biblical teachings about liberation from hell.

Here is my first article about liberation from hell (posted elsewhere in this forum), which I think could help this man discuss the issue with his wife and daughter.
<http://theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html>

For the most part, the best chance for reaching evangelicals with universalism is a strong biblical and patristics argument for a purgatorial hell.

Offline firstborn888

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2007, 11:21:36 AM »
I believe that the Bible teaches about a purgatorial hell. And Bill Wiese's vision is consistent with a purgatorial hell.

I still maintain that demons coming into your prison cell and breaking your 'bones' and torturing you is 100 percent from pagan mythology.

For the most part, the best chance for reaching evangelicals with universalism is a strong biblical and patristics argument for a purgatorial hell.

From my experience, the ONLY thing that reaches them is personal brokeness and a powerful revelatory encounter with the truth of God, specifically in matters pertaining to His 'big picture'.

From George W. Hawtin:

"The inability of God's people to understand and accept the restitution of all things, which was spoken of by all the prophets since the world began, may be traced to three great faults in our traditional teaching.

Firstly, very, very few people are familiar with the truth that there is a coming age which the Bible names the dispensation of the fullness of times (Eph. 1: 10), and that that age above all others has been specially set aside for the work of reconciling all things in heaven and in earth and bringing all things into Christ. The age, as I will point out presently, is the Age of the Ages. It is the greatest age of all ages and is the time in which the Almighty God brings to completion the unfailing Word spoken before time began, "Let Us make man in Our image and after Our likeness."

Secondly, God's people fail to see the final restitution of all things because they also fail to see the greatness of the work of Christ and the all-inclusive faith which God the Father has in that marvelous work of redemption.

Thirdly, and perhaps most important of all, is the failure of God's people to see that all things are of God, that He is working all things according to the Counsel of His own will. Nothing has ever gone wrong with the merciful purpose of God.

Once these three truths become clear to the spiritual mind of a devout child of God, then the mysteries of the ages disperse like mists before the rising sun and all the parts of the puzzle begin to fall into their appointed place to form a perfect blueprint of the progression of God's purpose through the ages". 

James, I appreciate your heart in wanting others to understand the truth of God, but I think to see this as a simple shift from 'eternal' hell to 'temporary' hell only scratches the surface of the huge divide between those who understand that God planned all this and those who think something went terribly wrong, and God is doing 'damage control'.

In any case, I see Bill W's understanding of scripture as severely lacking, and therefore conclude that he had a terrible demonically inspired experience.

   blessings,
    Byron

shibboleth

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2007, 11:38:18 AM »
It was almost 2 years ago that Mr. Wiese was on a local Christian program. I was a new believer in UR at the time and decided to try to get on to challenge his hellfire doctrine.
I was a new believer and very nervous about this, but felt if God allowed me on, I would do it.

As many of you who have tried to get on a talk show know, it can be very difficult. I prayed that I would get on and I did.  I had no idea where to start such a big subject, but felt that the story of Adam and Eve was the best place to begin. I mentioned the fact that hellfire wasn't a part of their punishment and noone else in the OT was ever threatened with hellfire. I was interrupted numerous times and it was more like a debate than discussion.

Anyway, I finally asked this question: If God asks us to forgive our enemies, why doesn't God forgive his enemies? I was still talking and heard the host start to talk to a new guest. The host said my views were too dangerous for young people and that's why I wasn't allowed to speak anymore. No, my views were too dangerous for ET churches who make their living from the fear and wrath of God. I only pointed out their hypocrisy, and they couldn't take it.

I haven't read Bill's book and have no intention of doing so. His arguments aren't any different from all the other ones I have heard over the past 2 years and I refuse to spend money making hellfire authors rich.

Offline AbbasChild

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2007, 01:42:42 PM »
We were discussing this here just recently. Here's the link:

http://www.tentmaker.org/forum/index.php?topic=1030.0
It is much more possible for the sun to give out darkness than for God to do or be, or give out anything but Blessing and Goodness.- William Law

Man can certainly flee from God... but he cannot escape him. He can certainly hate God and be hateful to God, but he cannot change into its opposite the eternal love of God which triumphs even in his hate. --Karl Barth

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2007, 07:25:43 PM »
I don't really understand exactly what this guy is trying to say, because I haven't read any of his material, but it seems to me like he's saying he either died and went to "hell" or he had a vision of "hell". I'm not exactly sure if that is what he's saying, but if he is, they cannot be trusted, and here's why.

If he died, his thoughts perished (Psalm 146:4) and he cannot know anything (Ecc. 9:5,10). Simply put, his brain stopped working the second he died (death is the opposite of life, if he was dead, he lived nowhere, not even in hell) and being that his brain stopped, it cannot receive or send any sensations, observations or any experiences at all. When you die, you die.

If he claims he "had a vision", that can be trusted as much as someone who had a dream. I've heard Binny Hinn talk about how he "had a vision" of standing at the throne of God. While he explained some really cool stuff, it would be foolish for us to believe everyone who says they had a vision. I could "have a vision" that hell doesn't exist at all and then people would be really confused. If everyone on the planet plays the divine intervention card to back up their beliefs then we will have a big problem figuring out what God said and what He didn't. Remember, in the garden, the first problem came about when Eve mixed the words of God with her own words. Sure, there was plenty of truth to what Eve said, God *DID* tell them not to eat of the tree, but Eve added her own "vision" to what God said "neither shall ye touch it".

We can only accept scripture as God's word for proof for a universal view as well as a partialist view, otherwise we risk confusing God's words with man's word as we saw happen in Eden.

imwm

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2007, 03:06:27 AM »
I was wondering about this when I was new to UR (though I still am  :mblush:)

I have not read the book but I read on a website some quotes from him about the book, and some reviews of the book that talked about the experience Bill Wiese had.

The thing is, as far as I know, (that's not terribly much mind you), there is no Biblical support for demons torturing people in hell. This idea seems to be a big part of Bill's experience.

I always thought hell was created for Satan and demons, not just for people...

And if something doesn't line up Biblically, how can we trust it?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 05:10:31 PM by imwm »

Offline firstborn888

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2007, 11:01:31 AM »
The thing is, as far as I know, (that's not terribly much mind you), there is no Biblical support for demons torturing people. This idea seems to be a big part of Bill's experience.

That's right. Demonic spirits torment people in the here and now - not in the afterlife. Bill's 'experience' (if he's being honest with us) was certainly a part of that 'here and now' tormenting.

  blessings,
   byron

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2007, 09:11:26 PM »
Hi all
I watched the U tube movie on Bill's experience. It is a hard one to believe. I believe if we were to get a message from God it would be one that would encourage us to be drawn to Him. That does the exact opposite. Bill said that God told him that "He does not want anyone to be there". According to Bill's message, that there will be people there. This means God did not keep his promise to us.

In...

His word will not return void but accomplish His desire, pleasure and purpose. (Isa. 45:23, 46:11, 55:11)

God said he would accomplish His desires which would be the same as his wants. What Bill said totally contradicts what God has said. This would make God's word return void to us.

Faith

Offline james.goetz

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2007, 09:53:29 PM »
The thing is, as far as I know, (that's not terribly much mind you), there is no Biblical support for demons torturing people in hell. This idea seems to be a big part of Bill's experience.

I always thought hell was created for Satan and demons, not just for people...

And if something doesn't line up Biblically, how can we trust it?

Hi imwm,

I will detail this more in a future paper, but now I will give a synopsis of interpretations. Various passages in the New Testament describe that both lost dead humans and fallen angels are in a place waiting for punishment. And various Greek words are used for this place, and they all could be describing Hades. And though the New Testament never says that lost dead humans and fallen angels are in Hades together, such a possibility is not in contradiction with the New Testament.

And Jesus said that lost humans would go to the eternal fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels. That is talking about after Judgment Day and not the temporary place called Hades. And Jesus directly describes that both lost humans and fallen angels will suffer together in the eternal fire. Yet, God's gracious offer of salvation will continue to reach out to lost humans and angels in the eternal fire.

Blessings:)

Offline firstborn888

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2007, 11:28:41 AM »
    The bottom line is the ENGLISH words 'hell' and 'angels' and 'heaven' have taken God's message and turned it into a masterful science fiction novel/comic book.
   You have 'Lucifer' rising up in a great prehistoric rebellion in 'heaven', convincing legions of fellow 'angels' to follow him on his evil adventure. Muah-ha-ha!
   Then, Lucifer sneaks into the garden, possesses a snake, and spreads his evil rebellion to mankind...
   But alas, God is great - and will take vengence - casting them into 'hell' forever!
   Oh the drama! The adventure!
   
Christiandom needs to get a grip on reality....

I'll quote me here
Heaven does not necessarily denote God's domain, it simply means an exalted place (ie: heave - raised up). This is one very common mistake that people make and the source of many a fairy tale. The one I pointed out earlier is where Jesus said 'I saw Satan fall as lightening' when satan lost his power. People who are into fallen angels say 'see? see? - the devil DID fall from heaven!' In fact, that was my first clue (thirty years ago) that something was amiss about the lucifer teaching. Why would they have to twist a NT scripture (which is so obvioulsy not referring to a great rebellion in God's domain) into supporting their fallen angel theory? Because they NEEDED some support, ie: the Ezek and Isaiah passages say absolutely NOTHING about satan.

In the revelation, there was warfare in the 'heavenlies' - 'high places of spiritual authority', not in God's soveriegn domain we call 'heaven'. There was no more place for them found in 'heaven', they lost their power - just like in Luke 10:18.
  - b

Here's the link for angel vs. messenger info
http://www.iswasandwillbe.com/fallenangels.php

And I'll quote me again here:

I think it's important though to recognize that the word 'hell' is not a scriptural term at all. Some who read my posts have heard this a thousand times, but I'll say it again; sheol/hades is a generic term for 'the grave' and it does not discriminate - the good, the bad and the ugly all are there or go there. Throughout scripture (in the after death aspect) there is no fire, no thought, no consciousness EXCEPT in the one parable where Jesus turned the Pharisees false doctrine of the two compartments in sheol (taken from pagan mythology) upside down on them.

Gehenna is a totally different thing, as is the lake of fire. So we would do well to drop the word 'hell' altogether, as it only creates confusion.

There are no 'fallen angels' in 'the grave' (sheol/hades).

Those who adhere to 'fallen angel' theory consider this: They're on earth - tormenting men, but they're also taking human form and mating with women! But they're also reserved in everlasting chains, but wait, they're also in hell, but - wait again - in the revelation they're in heaven (again) rebelling, wreaking more havok!

Ahhhhhhhh! They're EVERYWHERE!!!

     blessings,
   - Byron



 

Offline 97531

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2007, 02:21:45 PM »
Here is a picture of a fallen angel


I googled images - warning you will be shocked - mostly female so I guess they were lesbian too, hmmm seems they had problems back then too  :mshock:

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2007, 03:24:27 PM »
ohhh you must have ended up finding victorias secret angels  :grin:

kept

Offline 97531

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2007, 06:07:05 PM »
Split off to new topic Angels - Fallen Angels
My Blog       Father's Love Forum - New
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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2008, 04:02:32 PM »
Bill Wiese is a liar. He quotes numerous scriptures throughout his book, most of which are completely irrelevant to what he is talking about. He continually grabs short phrases and sentences out the Bible and quotes them without showing you the context of the phrase, which makes it easy for him to read his own assumptions into it (yes, I actually looked up every single scripture he cites). The majority of Christians in modern America do not diligently read their Bibles anymore, which makes them easy prey for this kind of con job. But his bizarre fantastic story outrightly contradicts the Bible many times. Luke 16:27-31 (the Lord's parable of the rich man and Lazarus) says, "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Our Lord Himself is very clear that if men reject the Gospel, and they refuse to listen to those who proclaim the Word of God, they will never be persuaded, even if someone came back from the dead to witness to them—something even more miraculous than Wiese's alleged experience. Wiese himself specifically says, "One thing I was sure of: if what I had experienced was true, then I should be able to find proof of it in the Bible"; and, "I discovered that there are approximately 150 verses that reveal some aspect of hell, together confirming everything I had experienced." However, he does not even attempt to back up many of his claims from Scripture, such as deformed reptilian demons and big rats and spiders in hell. He cites many scriptures about demons attacking people on earth, but he never provides a shred of proof that demons can torment people in hell. And Wiese himself states that if he can't prove it from the Bible, then it is not true. Please see my review of "23 Minutes in Hell" at www.geocities.com/spiritualliberty/23MinutesInHellReview.html.

Offline sven

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2008, 04:34:53 PM »
Jeremiah 23,25 might fit

I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. 28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

Offline Tony N

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2008, 04:50:44 PM »
And Jesus said that lost humans would go to the eternal fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels. That is talking about after Judgment Day and not the temporary place called Hades. And Jesus directly describes that both lost humans and fallen angels will suffer together in the eternal fire. Yet, God's gracious offer of salvation will continue to reach out to lost humans and angels in the eternal fire.

Blessings:)

Really? Did Jesus say the lost humans would go to the eternal fire?
Please re-read Matthew 25:31-46.
This is not about "lost humans" but about Jesus coming back and judging "nations" who mistreated Jesus' brethren during their great tribulation and nations that treated them properly. It is not about being saved or lost. It is about treatment of His believers.

Get that? It is not about believers vs. unbelievers but how nations treated His believers.

And Jesus never used "aperantos" (endless) with "fire." He used "aionios" with "fire." Aionios is just an adjective telling us concerning that which pertains to the eon in question (the 1000 year long eon). This judgment happens 1000 years prior to the great white throne judging.

Also the fire is not a literal fire. Even today in our lingo we say "so and so went through a fiery trial." The eonian fire, or the fire pertaining to that eon represents the chastening those nations must endure. When Israel was held captive in Egypt 400 some years they too went through a furnace of fire. Was there really fire in Egypt? Were they really tortured in fire in Egypt? They actually went in a very small people and came out a great nation. Now it is the nation's turn to go through their furnace of fire for how they treated Christ's brethren.

Mat 25:41 Then shall He be declaring to those also at His left, 'Go from Me, you cursed, into the fire eonian, made ready for the adversary and his messengers."

The fire eonian or "fire pertaining to the eon" is made ready for the adversarial nation and its messengers or emmisaries who gave letters to other nations that Christ's brethren were to be persecuted or else.

As far as Bill Wiese is concerned, anyone who thinks they have gone to hell and seen devils etc is terribly deceived. People are literally unconscious in death . . .

Ecc 9:10 All that your hand finds to do, do with your vigor, For there is no doing or devising or knowledge or wisdom In the Hades where you are going."
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 06:40:54 PM by Tony N »
Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

Andromeda_Organa

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2008, 07:40:13 PM »
Here is a picture of a fallen angel


I googled images - warning you will be shocked - mostly female so I guess they were lesbian too, hmmm seems they had problems back then too  :mshock:


misogyny at its worst

barbierir

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2008, 12:51:41 PM »
I don't know anything about Bill Wiese but I want to make some generale comment. There have been uncountable people in history that have had mystical experience of hell or heaven and if you read them you see that no one account is alike the other.

The reason is clear: the experience of hell or heaven is totally above our understanding in current life and the mystics who experience it see it not in its actual form but through the ideas, the prejudices, the unconsciuos, the teachings and the overall understanding of their own mind. I bet if each of us would have a similar experience we'd all describe them in different ways.

So in the case of Bill Weise, supposing it's true, I see nothing strange that he sees hell in the form he has always been teached about.

Renzo


Mark Christopher

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2008, 04:12:22 AM »
I don't know anything about Bill Wiese but I want to make some generale comment. There have been uncountable people in history that have had mystical experience of hell or heaven and if you read them you see that no one account is alike the other.

But a lot of them do resemble pagan depictions of hell, or literary depictions like Dante's Inferno or Paradise Lost, in one aspect or another. Most people don't know what all influences them or where it originates from. I wonder how many of these people have a Catholic background.

Andromeda_Organa

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2008, 04:52:31 PM »
I don't know anything about Bill Wiese but I want to make some generale comment. There have been uncountable people in history that have had mystical experience of hell or heaven and if you read them you see that no one account is alike the other.

But a lot of them do resemble pagan depictions of hell, or literary depictions like Dante's Inferno or Paradise Lost, in one aspect or another. Most people don't know what all influences them or where it originates from. I wonder how many of these people have a Catholic background.

Baxxter and Weise reminds me of Dante's Inferno. But they seem to forget that Dante was making a social commentary, not a literal description of Hell.

martincisneros

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2008, 05:44:22 PM »
Plus, Dante's Inferno is a UR book.  Comes through all of these different levels and comes to the conclusion that the most important thing is the Love of God.  And like all "visions of Hell" he was only passing through:-)  There was a very fascinating couple hour program on it a few months ago on the local PBS television station where all of these scholars were discussing the work, and the only conclusion that I could come to from what they were saying was that it had an underlying UR theme of ultimate redemption.  I've been wanting to read through the whole thing, not just the inferno but the "Divine Comedy" that Dante's Inferno is simply an extract of.

barbierir

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2009, 12:42:58 PM »
I don't know anything about Bill Wiese but I want to make some generale comment. There have been uncountable people in history that have had mystical experience of hell or heaven and if you read them you see that no one account is alike the other.

But a lot of them do resemble pagan depictions of hell, or literary depictions like Dante's Inferno or Paradise Lost, in one aspect or another. Most people don't know what all influences them or where it originates from. I wonder how many of these people have a Catholic background.



Indeed, people's background has always a very strong influence on mystical experience

Renzo

barbierir

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Re: 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2009, 12:51:32 PM »
Plus, Dante's Inferno is a UR book.  Comes through all of these different levels and comes to the conclusion that the most important thing is the Love of God.  And like all "visions of Hell" he was only passing through:-)  There was a very fascinating couple hour program on it a few months ago on the local PBS television station where all of these scholars were discussing the work, and the only conclusion that I could come to from what they were saying was that it had an underlying UR theme of ultimate redemption.  I've been wanting to read through the whole thing, not just the inferno but the "Divine Comedy" that Dante's Inferno is simply an extract of.

Really? That sounds very odd to me. Here in Italy we study Dante at high school and I never heard anything about an UR theme. Dante's verses seem to rule out any idea of redemption from hell, just read the inscription on the hell's gate:

Hell - Canto III - vv 1-9

THROUGH ME IS THE WAY INTO THE SUFFERING CITY;
THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO GRIEF ETERNAL;
THROUGH ME THE WAY AMONG LOST HUMANITY;
JUSTICE MOVED MY MAKER CELESTIAL;
I WAS CREATED BY THE DIVINE POWER,
BY THE SUPREME WISDOM, AND BY LOVE PRIMEVAL.
ONLY ETERNAL THINGS ARE OLDER THAN I;
AND I WILL FOREVER ENDURE.
ABANDON EVERY HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER.

translation by Seth Zimmerman

Renzo